Blood stream infections (BSIs) are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with left ventricular assist devices (LVADs). The aim of this study was to examine the correlation between hemorrhagic cerebrovascular accident (CVA) and BSI after implantation of LVAD for advanced heart failure (HF). This was a retrospective descriptive review of 87 patients with end-stage HF, who underwent implantation of HeartMate II continuous-flow LVAD over a 4 year period. Blood stream infections were diagnosed by serial blood cultures, and suspected neurological complications including CVAs were confirmed by neuroimaging. Extensive patient chart review was performed, and descriptive characteristics were analyzed using SPSS statistical software. The mean age of our study population was 62.3 ± 12.8 years, and the majority of our patients were males (n = 75, 86.2%). The baseline characteristics were comparable in the patients with and without CVAs. Patients with BSI had a much greater incidence of CVA compared to patients without BSI (n = 13, 43.3% vs. n = 5, 10.0%; p < 0.0001). There was an increased mortality in patients with BSI than those without (n = 57, 65.5% vs. n = 30, 34.5%; p = 0.003). The risk of all CVAs (hemorrhagic/ischemic) was eightfold (odds ratio [OR] = 7.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 2.4-25.5; p = 0.001] in patients with BSI. Patients with BSI had a >20-fold risk of hemorrhagic CVA (OR = 24; 95% CI = 2.8-201.1; p = 0.03). Advanced HF patients with LVAD support who developed BSI need urgent evaluation and close monitoring for suspected neurological complications, particularly hemorrhagic CVA.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biomedical Engineering